Hunter Bolesky and Brandon Srinath are not average businessmen. They are co-owners of Botana-Cart, a botanical bike shop. Their cart, which sports a marijuana leaf, serves the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area.
“We started four months ago, and we were able to save the funds together and put everything together,” Bolesky said. “I’m just an employee of this company that Brandon and I started together and we’re not affiliated with anything. It’s just something we did.
Botana Trolley sells local plant-based produce from its cart, which can be spotted around Franklin Street on weekend evenings and via delivery. Among the company’s product offerings is Delta-8, a cannabis compound.
“We have a wide range of botanicals that deal with all the different herbs,” Bolesky said. “About 70% of what’s on the cart is locally sourced, so we work with local farms. Everything we sell is purely agricultural – plant-based, essentially.
The company operates from a 600-pound battery-powered, carbon-free bicycle cart, according to its website.
Srinath says Botana-Cart’s Delta-8 products have been particularly successful.
“Our gummies are really awesome,” Srinath said. “They are accessible to many people who move around and are in Chapel Hill, and it gives people the opportunity to try different concentrations of CBD or Delta-8 and see what works for them. We get a lot of people who mostly get herbal medicine for pain, anxiety or just “mood enhancing alternatives” which is what we usually call them.
Botana-Cart has also seen success in products other than Delta-8, such as kratom, a herbal stimulant sold in forms such as tea, and mushroom powder that can be mixed with any what drink. Bolesky and Srinath also plan to add more products to their current lineup.
“We’re interested in all herbal medicines, and that’s something we’ll be looking at every day,” Bolesky said. “We are always adding new things. We are always looking to work with new people, but we really try to source locally and try to do our best.
The iconic Botana-Cart can be spotted from evening and late into the night around Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
“We usually go out every night, but mostly on weekends,” Srinath said. “We went out from anywhere from 5 p.m. anywhere until 2 a.m., sometimes 3 a.m.”
Donovan Herndon, a business administration specialist at UNC, said he first noticed the cart near the start of the school year.
“I heard about him a month after we started school,” Herndon said. “I was walking down Franklin Street and I just see this guy coming down with a cart and a huge weed sign on it. I have two or three friends who bought him something on Franklin Street.
Alex Carrasquillo, public information officer for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said Botana-Cart is a legally operating delivery service.
“We haven’t received any complaints about them,” Carrasquillo said. “While we understand this business is based in Carrboro, we hope any business working in the Chapel Hill community will be successful.”
Srinath said Botana-Cart is looking to work with local bars in the near future.
“We’re stopping by different bars and really looking for bar work in the near future,” Srinath said. “That way we can stop at the same time as the bar and let people know while they’re queuing. Sometimes we serve people while they are queuing at Goodfellows. We want to be able to offer that to them and bring it directly to them. It’s just easy accessibility and that’s even the novelty of it.
Bolesky and Srinath also hope to expand Botana-Cart beyond the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area.
“I think it’s just about providing a product of this Earth that we humans have been consuming for thousands of years,” Bolesky said. “We try to make sure everything is well stocked. We want to give an alternative to the community and help grow the community and the brand.
To get the day’s news and headlines delivered to your inbox every morning, sign up for our email newsletters.